Governor Nasir El-Rufai has said that tackling insecurity requires cooperation of the various states and security managers as well as intelligence agencies sharing information.
El-Rufai further noted that any plan that seeks to address the problem only in one state will at best yield a temporary respite as the criminals will retreat to safe havens.
The governor made this known at the second quarter 2021 meeting of the Directors of the State Commands of the Directorate of State Security (DSS) in the North West.
‘’The security agencies need to strengthen intelligence gathering, to establish not just the identities, plans and locations of these criminals, but to actively disrupt their capacity to organise and mount attacks on our citizens.
‘’But it is also very important to ensure that prompt and coordinated action become the default response of the Armed Forces and the Police to the profusion of actionable intelligence that is already available,’’ he added.
El-Rufai said that the governors of the North west states and Niger state appreciated the salient importance of inter-state cooperation as far back as 2015.
‘’They came together to fund simultaneous operations by the federal military and security agencies across the largely ungoverned Kamuku-Kuyambana forest swathes that straddle about seven of our states up to Dajin Rugu.
‘’These operations disrupted the cattle rustling gangs, but were unfortunately not sustained as a continuous exercise to dominate these spaces and assert within them the authority of the Nigerian state,’’ he recalled.
According to the governor, the criminal gangs have become more daring and dangerous since recovering from their near defeat in 2015 is obvious across the country.
‘’As the lead agency for domestic intelligence and counter-intelligence, the DSS has a vital role to play in providing the reliable information needed by the Police and Armed Forces for the total defeat of these dangerous insurgents,’’ he added.
El-Rufai warned that there is a looming food crisis in the country because ‘’farmers in various communities are unable to go to their farms, that is when they are lucky not to have fled their remote villages under pressure from the criminals.’’
Earlier, the Kaduna State Director of State Security Service, Mr Idris Ahmed Koya, commended the state government for ‘’ its untiring and unwavering support to this command in various ways.’’
According to him, the relocation to their new office complex could not have been possible but for the support of the state government that provided the furniture and other accessories.
‘’Similarly, all our successful operations are made possible and easy through the requisite working tools provided by the state government. The IMSI Grabber is one of such tools,’’ he disclosed.
Mr Koya pleaded with Governor El-Rufai to help the service with operational vehicles to enable DSS personnel in carrying out operations outside the command’s immediate environment.
The state Director noted that ‘’the current efforts by the state government to establish a drone centre for intelligence gathering and support of other security operations is highly commendable.’’
Koya expressed optimism that the centre will be a game changer in tackling insecurity not only in Kaduna state but the North-west and even North-central zones when it becomes operational.
Speaking at the event, the Commissioner of Internal Security and Home Affairs, Mr Samuel Aruwan noted that ‘’developing a cohesive security management system rests largely on the effective collaboration between the individual elements.’’
The commissioner added that ‘’the different constitutional mandates of security agencies and the immense strain on their numerical strength demand that they must be on the same page, especially in terms of intelligence gathering and sharing.’’
Aruwan pointed out that ‘’several serious attacks could have been prevented if there was more robust collaboration within and amongst security agencies.
‘’There have been instances where available intelligence indicated a high likelihood of attacks by armed bandits, but due to lapses in collaboration, sadly the responses by security agencies fell through the gaps, leading to needless loss of lives and property,’’ he added.
The commissioner noted that ‘’we are seeing some significant improvement in this regard’’, appealing that security agencies should imbibe sharing intelligence and teamwork.